Tanks are armored fighting vehicles that move using a wheel-shaped chain. The main characteristic is its patron tank which is usually a layer of heavy steel, which is a cannon big gun, and high mobility to move smoothly in all fields. Although the tank is a vehicle which is expensive and requires a lot of logistical supplies, tanks are the most powerful land weapons and all-round on the modern battlefield, because of its ability to destroy any ground targets, and the mental effect against infantry.
Tank is a very powerful combat vehicles. Even so, the tank does not operate alone. Tank used to be included in an armored unit in an integrated army, which is a combination between infantry and other cavalry. Without the support of other units, tanks, despite having a thick protective, it can be disabled by the infantry, mines, artillery, and helicopters or aircraft.
Tank is also not effective in urban terrain and forest, where the ability of remote tank so it can not be used , vision riders tank so limited, tanks and cannons may not be maximally spinning.
Tank was first used in World War I trench warfare to break the deadlock, and the role eventually evolved tank to replace the role of cavalry. The term tank (tank) appeared at the time of the first tanks in factories in Britain: the workers were told that they were making a chain-wheeled vehicles of water, so making these combat vehicles can be kept secret.
Tanks and armored tactics have evolved over nearly a century. Although the weapons systems and tank protector still being developed, many countries began to question the need for such heavy vehicles, especially in the era of non-conventional warfare.
World War I: the first tanks
British Mark I at the Battle of the Somme.
World War I combat conditions on the Western Front made the British Army thinking of developing a vehicle that could cross trenches, crush barbed wire and machine gun shot does not work. Tank prototype was first tested by the British military on 6 September 1915.
Tank was first used in war when Captain H. W. Mortimore carry Mark I tank in the Battle of the Somme on 15 September 1916. France developed the Schneider CA1 tank made from Holt Caterpillar tractor, and was first used on 16 April 1917. The use of large-scale tank battle occurred at the Battle of Cambrai on 21 November 1917.
The changes to the battlefield and the poor performance of the tank to force the Allies to continue to develop the concept of this tank. Tank continued to grow during World War I, for example, Mark V tank, which made very long so it can pass through a wide trenches though.
Development and design tactics
Vickers A1E1 Independent tank made in the UK was canceled and did not enter the production line, but it affects the design of many other tanks.
In the period between two world wars, developed a wide range of tank classes, especially in England. Light tanks, which weigh less than ten tons, used for monitoring tasks, and only armed with light machine guns are only effective against light tanks used more.
Tank or tanks being cruiser, heavier and intended to travel quickly over long distances. And lastly, infantry heavy tank or tank, is a tank with a heavy protective layer, which is running slow. These tanks are made to be used to penetrate the defense with infantry. Heavy patron shot him to hold an anti-tank weapons. After the heavy tanks and infantry succeeded in punching holes in the opponent’s defense line, the tank is to be sent through the hole and attack the line of logistics and unit commanders. Such tactics ultimately developed by the German blitzkrieg concept.
Tanks in World War II
German heavy tank, Tiger I.
World War II found rapid development in the tank. Germany for example, using light tanks like the Panzer I previously used only for training. Light tanks and other armored vehicles into the most important element in the blitzkrieg.
However, these light tanks British tanks and face losing more tanks against the legendary T-34’s Soviet Union. And at the end of the war of all parties has drastically increase the size of cannon and tank protector. For example, the Panzer I only use two machine guns, and the Panzer IV, the heaviest German tanks at the beginning of World War II using a low speed 75 mm cannon, and weigh under 20 tons. At the end of the war, was the standard German tank, Panther, using high-speed 75 mm cannon, and weighs 45 tons.
Other wartime developments was the introduction of the suspension system is much better. This may sound insignificant, but the quality of suspension is the determinant of the performance of cross-country tanks. Tank with a bad suspension will result in vibrations felt by the rider, this will result in operating difficulties, reduce speed, and makes shooting while walking becomes impossible. The new suspension system such as the Christie suspension or a suspension system torsion bars improve performance and speed dramatically.
Rotating cannon, which was previously not available on all tanks, regarded as very important. The cannon should be used against other tanks, so arranged as big and as strong as possible, so that means the tank enough to have a cannon to be very strong. As a result, tank design with lots of guns, such as T-28 and T-35 Soviet-made, abandoned.
Cold War and beyond
Polish tank company who wear T-54.
After World War II and into the Cold War, the developed countries and the superpowers take the lessons of German tanks in the use of force. Additional threat of nuclear warfare and chemical tanks are also equipped to make nuclear and chemical warfare equipment. Advances in technology make the tank cannon and ammunition more dreaded, and each country vying to perfect the technology.
But it was the biggest threat to the current tank is equipped infantry with light weapons destroyed which has tremendous power, to develop anti-tank missiles tote that is the result of the development of a World War II bazooka. Coupled with the growing ability of the air force helicopter gunships that have anti-tank capability.
T-72 tanks with reactive protection beams.
The main battle tanks (Main battle tanks, MBT) is a combat vehicle that has the most powerful protection on the battlefield. Protection designed to protect the tank and the rider from all hazards, including the kinetic energy penetrators fired by other tanks, anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) fired by infantry or aircraft, and mines. But the amount of protection needed to protect the tank from any direction will be very heavy and does not allow, therefore the design a tank must be found the right balance between protection of the weight.
There are many types of protection. The most common protection is a passive protection, which is a layer of metal, steel, or ceramic. Another type of protection which is reactive protection. This reactive protection exploded outward, and change the direction the projectile came. Reactive protection will be attached to the beam, rather than a permanent coating. Suitable protection against reactive projectiles and warheads suitable passive protection against kinetic energy penetrator projectiles.
Armored division of uneven thickness. In general, the thickest layer is on the front of the tank and the front of the cannon. Layers on the sides and top of tank is usually much thinner, while the back-especially the tank above the engine-have the thinnest layer.
Kinetic energy penetrator bullets.
The main weapon is a tank cannon, whose size is only exceeded by a large artillery howitzer. Usually the size of Western caliber tank is 120 mm and 125 mm tank East. Tank cannon can fire a bullet kinetic energy penetrator (KE) and high explosive shells (HE). Some tanks also fired missiles or rockets through the cannons, which can further the distance range and allow it to destroy air targets.
In general, tanks have a parallel machine gun (coaxial) with the main gun. Caliber machine guns are generally small between 7.62 mm to 12.7 mm for use against infantry targets, but there are some French tanks that use large-caliber guns of 20 mm coaxial like the AMX-30 tanks, which can be used to destroy lightly armored vehicles . In addition to the main gun and secondary weapon, the tank is also equipped with the usual anti-aircraft machine gun in the roof of the tank.
In the past, tank gunnery target using only the eye that is less accurate, especially if the tank is running when the cannon will be fired. Now the modern tank has a lot of advanced equipment to help improve accuracy. Gyroscopes used to stabilize the main gun; measuring laser is used to calculate the distance to the target; computer is used to calculate the height and angle of fire, taking into account wind speed, air temperature, and other factors.
M1 Abrams tank fired a 120 mm cannon.
Almost all main battle tanks have smoke grenade launcher, which can quickly spread a blanket of smoke that will protect the tank when it was backing up or ambushed. Smoke blanket is not used offensively, because the smoke will also cover the vision of the attackers, and the smoke can tell the enemy that an attack is imminent. But in some of the French Leclerc tanks such as tanks, smoke grenade launcher can also be used to fire tear gas and anti-personnel grenades.
Leopard 2 tank engines.
Abrams M1A1 engine replacement.
Tanks generally use diesel engines, because diesel is not flammable, although exposed to intense heat. In some designs, such as in Israel Merkava tanks, diesel fuel tanks placed around the crew, and effectively become a second protective layer. In addition, the diesel engine is also more economical and can provide more coverage than other machines. The disadvantage is difficult to burn diesel engine and feels underpowered.
In addition, thick smoke produced is also difficult to strike secretly. The use of the gasoline engine has a weakness as opposed to diesel engines. Gasoline is highly flammable, require that the tank is placed away from the crew. In addition, the range may be smaller. The advantage is that the engine can be more easily ignited and high-powered, and his voice is less than diesel engines and turbine engines. The tanks are newer like the German Leopard tank has a combustion engine in a multi-fuel, which can accept diesel, gasoline and other fuels.
Turbine engines are also popular on the latest tanks. This machine can remove a large force and more efficient than other machines. The disadvantage is, at the lowest speed of these machines were still consuming fuel as usual, is far more than any other machine on low speed. In the Gulf War, the U.S. M1 Abrams burn more fuel just to keep the infra-red lighting equipment and other electronics, while the other tanks can save fuel by reducing engine speed.
Chain wheel on the Leclerc tank.
Transport vehicle tank.
A main battle tank designed to have high mobility and can pass all kinds of terrain. Tank using a two-or four-site chains to move. The chain is driven by a large wheel on each tread of the channel power from the engine. Chain wheels are wide spread pressure generated by the weight of tank, making the resulting pressure can be equivalent to a human foot. This type of terrain is very difficult for the tank is very soft ground such as marshes, and rocky terrain with large boulders. In the field of “normal”, the tank is expected to run at 30-50 km / hour, and speed on the street can reach 70 km / h.
Even so, the logistics are not easy movement of the tank. On paper, or when the trial for several hours, a tank does have off-road capabilities that surpass any ordinary wheeled vehicles. Above street, speed is not much different from the usual wheeled armored vehicles. However, in practice, high-speed tank can only be used for some time, before a mechanical failure. Tank can not always run at top speed, and had to stop frequently to prevent improvement in order to always be ready to fight.
Because the tanks can not move an easy target for mortars and artillery, the speed is usually not used to the maximum, and always endeavored to always move the tank to the transport vehicle or rail tank, tank to save energy. Tank will ultimately depend on trains and railway infrastructure, because there is no army that has quite a lot of tank vehicles to transport all their tanks. For this reason, the railway bridge and the railway station is a prime target for those who want to slow the rate of tank attacks.
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